Best Value Colleges in Mississippi

Named after the mighty Mississippi River, the Magnolia State boasts southern charm, culture, and a variety of higher education institutions, both public and private. The state itself is known for its impact in classic American literature and its influence on creating blues music. Mississippi is also rich with history, specifically its role in the civil war era. If you’re thinking about attending a college in this state, use PayScale as a guide to ensure you’re getting the most out of your tuition dollars.

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Rank 
School Name 
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
 
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
 
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
 
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
 
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
17.5%7.5%11.6%11.6%$293,000$293,000$341,000$341,000$90,800$90,80060%5$26,90034%
1Mississippi State University(In-State)
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI11.6%
Annual ROI11.6%
20 Year Net ROI$293,000
20 Year Net ROI$293,000
20 Year Net ROI$341,000
20 Year Net ROI$341,000
Total 4 Year Cost$90,800
Total 4 Year Cost$90,800
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,900
Grant Money Received34%
2 (tie)5.2%5.2%7.5%7.5%$246,000$246,000$294,000$294,000$138,000$138,00060%5$26,90034%
2 (tie)Mississippi State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.5%
20 Year Net ROI$246,000
20 Year Net ROI$246,000
20 Year Net ROI$294,000
20 Year Net ROI$294,000
Total 4 Year Cost$138,000
Total 4 Year Cost$138,000
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,900
Grant Money Received34%
2 (tie)6.7%6.7%9.3%9.3%$246,000$246,000$281,000$281,000$92,100$92,10060%5$33,50022%
2 (tie)University of Mississippi(In-State)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI9.3%
Annual ROI9.3%
20 Year Net ROI$246,000
20 Year Net ROI$246,000
20 Year Net ROI$281,000
20 Year Net ROI$281,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,100
Total 4 Year Cost$92,100
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$33,500
Grant Money Received22%
44.4%4.4%5.9%5.9%$196,000$196,000$231,000$231,000$143,000$143,00060%5$33,50022%
4University of Mississippi(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI4.4%
Annual ROI4.4%
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI5.9%
20 Year Net ROI$196,000
20 Year Net ROI$196,000
20 Year Net ROI$231,000
20 Year Net ROI$231,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$33,500
Grant Money Received22%
55.9%5.4%9.3%8.4%$178,000$170,000$217,000$209,000$82,900$90,90045%5$25,10049%
5University of Southern Mississippi(In-State)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI9.3%
Annual ROI8.4%
20 Year Net ROI$178,000
20 Year Net ROI$170,000
20 Year Net ROI$217,000
20 Year Net ROI$209,000
Total 4 Year Cost$82,900
Total 4 Year Cost$90,900
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,100
Grant Money Received49%
63.1%3.1%7.4%7.4%$168,000$168,000$278,000$278,000$199,000$199,00072%4$28,00028%
6Millsaps College(Private)
Annual ROI3.1%
Annual ROI3.1%
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI7.4%
20 Year Net ROI$168,000
20 Year Net ROI$168,000
20 Year Net ROI$278,000
20 Year Net ROI$278,000
Total 4 Year Cost$199,000
Total 4 Year Cost$199,000
Grad Rate72%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,000
Grant Money Received28%
74.1%3.7%6.2%5.7%$144,000$136,000$183,000$175,000$117,000$125,00045%5$25,10049%
7University of Southern Mississippi(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI4.1%
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI5.7%
20 Year Net ROI$144,000
20 Year Net ROI$136,000
20 Year Net ROI$183,000
20 Year Net ROI$175,000
Total 4 Year Cost$117,000
Total 4 Year Cost$125,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,100
Grant Money Received49%
83.9%3.7%6.9%6.7%$132,000$129,000$184,000$181,000$117,000$121,00059%4$23,10034%
8Mississippi College(Private)
Annual ROI3.9%
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.7%
20 Year Net ROI$132,000
20 Year Net ROI$129,000
20 Year Net ROI$184,000
20 Year Net ROI$181,000
Total 4 Year Cost$117,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,100
Grant Money Received34%
94.2%4.2%7.1%7.1%$131,000$131,000$176,000$176,000$104,000$104,00046%4$18,60079%
9William Carey University(Private)
Annual ROI4.2%
Annual ROI4.2%
Annual ROI7.1%
Annual ROI7.1%
20 Year Net ROI$131,000
20 Year Net ROI$131,000
20 Year Net ROI$176,000
20 Year Net ROI$176,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$18,600
Grant Money Received79%
102.8%2.4%5.5%4.8%$99,000$87,000$154,000$142,000$135,000$147,00036%4$24,80059%
10Belhaven University(Private)
Annual ROI2.8%
Annual ROI2.4%
Annual ROI5.5%
Annual ROI4.8%
20 Year Net ROI$99,000
20 Year Net ROI$87,000
20 Year Net ROI$154,000
20 Year Net ROI$142,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Total 4 Year Cost$147,000
Grad Rate36%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,800
Grant Money Received59%
11 (tie)3.7%3.7%5.6%5.6%$81,700$81,700$104,000$104,000$75,100$75,10035%5$30,60050%
11 (tie)Delta State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI5.6%
20 Year Net ROI$81,700
20 Year Net ROI$81,700
20 Year Net ROI$104,000
20 Year Net ROI$104,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,100
Total 4 Year Cost$75,100
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$30,600
Grant Money Received50%
11 (tie)3.7%3.7%5.6%5.6%$81,700$81,700$104,000$104,000$75,100$75,10035%5$30,60050%
11 (tie)Delta State University(In-State)
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI5.6%
20 Year Net ROI$81,700
20 Year Net ROI$81,700
20 Year Net ROI$104,000
20 Year Net ROI$104,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,100
Total 4 Year Cost$75,100
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$30,600
Grant Money Received50%
132.7%2.8%7.0%7.2%$49,900$51,400$89,300$90,700$70,800$69,30046%5$22,10056%
13Mississippi University for Women(In-State)
Annual ROI2.7%
Annual ROI2.8%
Annual ROI7.0%
Annual ROI7.2%
20 Year Net ROI$49,900
20 Year Net ROI$51,400
20 Year Net ROI$89,300
20 Year Net ROI$90,700
Total 4 Year Cost$70,800
Total 4 Year Cost$69,300
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$22,100
Grant Money Received56%
141.3%1.7%4.1%4.7%$26,800$32,800$62,600$68,600$87,200$81,10038%5$26,80070%
14Jackson State University(In-State)
Annual ROI1.3%
Annual ROI1.7%
Annual ROI4.1%
Annual ROI4.7%
20 Year Net ROI$26,800
20 Year Net ROI$32,800
20 Year Net ROI$62,600
20 Year Net ROI$68,600
Total 4 Year Cost$87,200
Total 4 Year Cost$81,100
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,800
Grant Money Received70%
15 (tie)0.8%0.5%3.1%2.6%$16,000$10,000$47,500$41,600$87,100$93,00031%5$25,60074%
15 (tie)Alcorn State University(In-State)
Annual ROI0.8%
Annual ROI0.5%
Annual ROI3.1%
Annual ROI2.6%
20 Year Net ROI$16,000
20 Year Net ROI$10,000
20 Year Net ROI$47,500
20 Year Net ROI$41,600
Total 4 Year Cost$87,100
Total 4 Year Cost$93,000
Grad Rate31%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,600
Grant Money Received74%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

Mississippi State University is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a public college. When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck in Mississippi, MSU is the way to go. Back in the day, MSU was started as an agricultural and mechanical college called Mississippi A&M, and in 1958 the name was officially changed to Mississippi State University to reflect its refined curriculum. MSU is located in Starkville, MS, where students can enjoy the perks of walkable areas around the college, like the Cotton District which is filled with eclectic restaurants and bars tucked in amongst the historical Victorian architecture. With a rich Greek life, MSU students can join any of the 19 IFC fraternities or 13 Panhellenic Greek organizations. Around 20 percent of the student population at MSU participates in Greek life.

If you have your sights set on attending a private school in Mississippi, Belhaven University is a great option. The private, Christian college is located in the Jackson metro and is well-known for its commitment to the arts. Belhaven offers 27 areas of studies, including a nursing major which was introduced in 2014. Belhaven is one of only 36 schools that offer the full spectrum of the major arts including visual arts, music, dance and theatre.

The University of Mississippi — better known as Ole Miss — is another public college option. With a student enrollment of 23,000, Ole Miss is slightly bigger than MSU. Located in the city of Oxford, Ole Miss students are known for being passionate sports fans — they’re boisterous supporters of the Rebels, as their teams are known — and they enjoy an incredible and diverse music scene in the heart of the town; students can visit The Lyric for a music show, or grab a read at the best independent book store in the country, called Square Books. And they’re all conveniently within walking distance. Oxford gained further renown when Bob Dylan wrote a song inspired by the town, called “Oxford Town.”


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